Tag Archives: Cut Both Ways

March 2016 Reads

Yes, this is coming a week late, but it took time to summon up the brainpower to even write a single paragraph about a book. In the end, I reviewed six books, and wrote a paragraph for a seventh.

Megan Shepherd: Her Dark Curiosity: 5 stars
Erica Spindler: The Final Seven: 3 stars: Review
Blythe Woolston: MARTians: 5 stars: Review
Carrie Mesrobian: Cut Both Ways: 3 stars: Review
Megan Hart: Hold Me Close: 4 stars: Review
Robin Bridges: Dreaming of Antigone: 3 stars: Review
Sophie Littlefield: The Guilty One: 3 stars: Review

HER DARK CURIOSITY
When Book 1 in a series is worth five stars, you may hesitate to pick up Book 2. What if the sequel can’t live up to the quality of its predecessor? I needn’t have worried, because Her Dark Curiosity is another smashing read from Megan Shepherd. The novel opens with science, which bodes well for the rest of the story, a battle not to cure but to perhaps manage a violent condition. I’m not sure why Juliet shags Edward, but otherwise it’s a fabulous read that I definitely recommend. (NOTE TO ANIMAL LOVERS: There’s a dog character, and he’s alive for the entire book. There are thoughts against him, though thankfully none of them turn into action.)

[REVIEW] Cut Both Ways – Carrie Mesrobian

Carrie Mesrobian
Cut Both Ways
HarperCollins (US & CA: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide)

SPOILER WARNING: This “review” is nothing but spoilers. They’re behind a cut on Goodreads, but out in the open elsewhere.

If you’re looking for closure, you won’t find it here. The story kind of trails off, and might bother some readers. It works fine for me, though, because we’re left with enough clues that Will’s future isn’t that bleak. He has a job he loves, and his boss’s home has been a safe haven for Will, so he’ll have somewhere to live if things don’t improve with his parents.

I didn’t expect to connect with Will’s alcoholic dad, yet here we are. Yeah, he’s a screw-up, and he knows it. But he finally achieves his goal, and he’s ready to present it to Will and everyone else who didn’t think he could do it. Only it literally goes up in flames before he can show everyone. (Luckily, Will sneaks in before the fire to see the result of his dad’s work, which makes him respect his dad, so they should have a better relationship now.)

I can’t remember which photos Will’s stepdad saw. Were they dic-pics, in-bed pics, or kissing pics? If they were dic-pics… Well, I don’t envy anyone having to explain dic-pics to their young daughters. (I forget the twins’ age – anywhere from six to nine, maybe.)

Brandy is hard done by. Angus knows about Will and Brandy being together, but Brandy doesn’t know about Will and Angus together. And this is frustrating because Will and Brandy have unprotected sex (despite having the “unprotected sex leads to pregnancy” talk TWICE), and a pregnancy scare ensues. Since they were unprotected, Brandy should’ve had the right to know who else has had their hands/mouth on Will. No STIs in the story, though – not even a mention of “what if”.

Will could’ve brought up at any time that he was hooking up with Angus. No need to ask Brandy’s permission, but simply let her know what’s going on so she could make an informed decision about whether to stick with him or not. She’s not given that chance.

My biggest problem with the book is revealed in the Author’s Note. She explains that Cut Both Ways is an example of bisexual erasure. Erasure’s a harmful thing. It’s one thing to be ignorant, but it’s another thing entirely to go along with something even though you know it’s wrong. So I wouldn’t call this book a positive representative of bisexuality, considering the erasure. And it’s really disappointing, because it may have helped Will to know that being attracted to both girls and guys (even just one guy) is normal, and that he’s not alone.

1st September 2015 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Josephine Angelini
Firewalker (Worldwalker, Book 2)
Macmillan Feiwel & Friends (US: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Lily is back in her own universe, and she’s ready to relax with Rowan. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fuelled their escape, and must hide her magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good. Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make her come back.

Katie Coyle
Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle [also published as Vivian Versus America] (Vivian Apple, Book 2)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The predicted Rapture by Pastor Frick’s Church of America has come and gone, and three thousand Believers are now missing or dead. Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple and her best friend, Harpreet, are revolutionaries, determined to expose the Church’s diabolical power grab…and to locate Viv’s missing heartthrob, Peter Ivey.

Kim Harrison
The Drafter (Peri Reed Chronicles, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Gallery (US & CA: 1st September 2015); Hachette Little, Brown Piatkus (UK & AU: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?

Karen Kincy
Clockwork Menagerie (Shadows of Asphodel, Book 2.5 – Novella)
Curiosity Quills (US: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Konstantin would love to hide in his laboratory and dissect the clockwork dragon captured from Russia, but the Archmages of Vienna have other plans. He finds himself shipped off to St. Petersburg as the scientific attaché to an ambassador. His orders? Look, but don’t touch. Of course, he considers this an impossible request with so much enemy technomancy to explore. To make matters worse, Konstantin has to work with the dashing zeppelin commander Himmel, a man who should also be untouchable. They can’t act on the smouldering attraction between them without risking it all. Faced with an illegal relationship and a devious rival technomancer, Konstantin might not return from this mission in Russia without conquering the forbidden.

Carrie Mesrobian
Cut Both Ways
HarperCollins (US: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s definitely not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted – he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy. Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too – which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly? Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after a series of half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help – unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between his mom and dad for years and neither one feels like home. Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live – whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself probably the most.

Devon Monk
Crucible Zero (House Immortal, Book 3)
Penguin Roc (US: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Matilda Case never thought of herself as a hero. But because she is galvanized – and nearly immortal in her stitched, endlessly healing body – she doesn’t have much of a choice. Even if she doesn’t want to save the world, she’s the only one capable of travelling in time to do so. But her rescue attempt hasn’t gone as planned. She’s stuck in an alternate universe, and her world is in danger of disappearing. Worst of all, an unfathomably powerful man who can also travel through history doesn’t want her to put things to rights. He’s willing to wage bloody war to stop Matilda, unless she surrenders control of time to him. Now, with the minutes ticking, Matilda must make impossible decisions, knowing that one wrong choice will destroy her – and any chance of saving everything she loves…

Cherie Priest
Chapelwood (Borden Dispatches, Book 2)
Penguin Roc (US & CA: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens. This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life. Unless she stops it…

Madeleine Roux
Sanctum (Asylum, Book 2)
HarperCollins (US & CA: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. But someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival. Finally, Dan receives a list of coordinates pointing to abandoned houses in the town near Brookline, and he is convinced that the only way to end this nightmare once and for all is to follow the trail. But when Dan and his friends arrive under the guise of a prospective students’ weekend, they discover that the carnival from their photos isn’t just real, it’s here on campus. And that’s just where the terrors begin…

Madeleine Roux
Catacomb (Asylum, Book 3)
HarperCollins (US & CA: 1st September 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Senior year is finally over. After all they’ve been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together, and they’re just not going to think about what will happen when the summer ends. But on their way to visit Jordan’s uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that a black muscle car appears to be following them. Then Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn’t expect to hear from again – someone who died last Halloween. As the strange occurrences escalate, Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate – a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who have a sinister fascination with notorious killers of the past. Now Dan’s only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive.

September 2015 Releases

Done with August 2015 Releases? Here are September 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: If viewing this on a feed-reader, the formatting may be screwy, so probably best to read at my WordPress.

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7 New Covers (Barnes, Beckett, Black, Lewis, Mesrobian, Pettersson)

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